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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  December 31, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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year's eve celebrations from around the world. good night. caption colorado, l.l.c. comments@captioncolorado.com >> smith: tonight, blown away. >> our whole house started shaking, the windows started busting out and then it was gone. >> smith: tornadoes tear through arkansas, oklahoma, missouri and illinois leaving a deadly trail of destruction. i'm harry smith. also tonight, all eyes are on times square. checkpoints, hazmat teams, and thousands of officers are on hand to make sure the party goes off without a hitch. and 2010 in focus. the tragedies. >> why? >> smith: and the triumphs. >> chi chi chi! >> le le le! captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
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>> smith: good evening, katie is off tonight. tornadoes are about the last thing you'd expect on new year's eve, but the conditions were right. a fast-moving cold front came up against unseasonably warm air from the gulf of mexico early today. that set off a giant wave of violent storms throughout the south and midwest. the twisters hit four states, including missouri. in a matter of minutes, dozens of homes were torn apart. utility poles were ripped out of the ground and three people were killed. there were also three deaths in cincinnati, arkansas, a small town near the oklahoma border. a tornado hit before dawn, tearing roofs off houses and leaving a trail of destruction. don teague is there tonight. don, what's the situation? >> reporter: good evening, harry. we now know about 24 homes were destroyed here in cincinnati. i'm standing in what was the living room of one of those homes, a two-story house. you can see it's gone. in fact, most of this house
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ended up a couple hundred yards away. if you can see that tree behind me, there is furniture from this house in that tree. but even more amazing, there was a man who was in the bedroom where i'm standing. he was picked up by the storm, thrown something like a quarter of a mile away, landed and was injured but is going to be okay. an amazing story of survival. still, there is just devastation in this tiny town of just 100 people. flattened trees and snapped power poles marked the tornado's path. debris is scattered over two counties and at least 14 homes and businesses are damaged or destroyed. >> my whole house started shaking, the windows started busting out and then it was gone. >> reporter: an elderly couple was killed when their home collapsed, as was a 78-year-old neighbor who was in his barn milking cows. there were numerous injuries, some critical, but everyone is accounted for as neighbors rescued neighbors. >> i heard him yelling, you know and walked over, he had his hand
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sticking out, he had blocks all over him, his head was bleeding, and we dug him out. >> reporter: this small town woke up to warning sirens at 6:00 a.m., just nine minutes later the tornado hit, demolishing the volunteer fire station and trapping emergency equipment inside. homes were shredded, but this tree is still standing. two of these six chicken houses are gone, leaving hundreds of dead carcasses. and families examined what was left of their homes, combing through the rubble looking for anything recognizable. >> it will hit this house and then there's one right next door you know, just across the way that's still standing and, you this is the worst i've ever seen. >> reporter: winter tornadoes are rare, but unusually warm weather here collided with a cold front, propelling this storm system through northwest arkansas and into missouri, causing extensive damage to housing at the fort leonard wood military base. nearby, three women died when their homes were leveled. the tornadoes then moved from
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the countryside into the suburbs of st. louis county. population, nearly one million. >> the power went off and i told everybody to start taking cover. >> reporter: at about midday, a twister ripped through sunset hills, damaging properties within a hundred-yard radius. >> we panicked. i had to get off the table with my therapist and be underneath the table and we prayed. in sparta, missouri, jessica barnes is counting her blessings. she had just seconds to grab her three-year-old son and jump into the bathtub for safety. >> i placed him in the tub first and then laid on top of him and when we came to he actually was on top of me, and first thing he said was "my house is broken." >> reporter: well, there are many broken homes here in cincinnati, arkansas. again, about 24 homes destroyed here. right in the middle of what was the main area of this town, just complete devastation. the red cross is here, they say they've been helping people today and beginning tomorrow morning, they will help them
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sort out where they go from here. harry? >> smith: don, what a scene there tonight. these storms seem to have come out of nowhere. is the storm system finished for the night? >> reporter: it's not. it's still moving across the country, harry. toward the east there have been reports of tornadoes today in illinois this evening, and there are concerns about severe weather and tornadoes from chicago all the way down to louisiana tonight. >> smith: don teague in cincinnati, arkansas, this evening. good job. thank you very much. sunset hills, missouri, was also devastated by a tornado and cynthia bowers is there. cynthia, what does it look like? >> reporter: well, it's dark here. the power is out, but what we're told is that, much like don just reported, folks here say the tornado system came through so quickly that it just touched down about 400 yards behind me over this shoulder and came across where i'm standing and then it was gone. but in the meantime, while it was down, it leveled about 20 homes and businesses. it toppled power lines and
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trucks, and they say cars actually were pushed down the street as if they were still on and rolling. a lot of people feel really lucky tonight because they took refuge in a bar/restaurant called o'leary's. it was right at lunchtime, 20 or so folks were gathered inside when the storm came through. windows were shattered and the building was shaking and they feel they are all lucky to be alive tonight. fema will be in here tomorrow morning to start assessing the damage. meanwhile, power crews are out and rescue teams are combing through the rubble making sure that there's nobody there and trying to get the power back on so they can continue working on this, harry. but, again, it's a fast-moving storm system that caught everybody off guard. >> smith: cynthia bowers in sunset hills, missouri. amazing, no fatalities. thank you so much. that same cold front that caused the tornadoes also brought frigid weather across the western half of the nation. from the dakotas down to arizona the mercury took a nosedive and
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that, along with some of the heaviest snow of the season, has made for dangerous driving in colorado. in iowa, it was ice that sent trucks and cars skidding off the roads. on the other side of the world, they've already celebrated the arrival of 2011. in hong kong, the new year kicked off with a synchronized fireworks display. in dubai, pyrotechnics lit up the world's tallest building. and in moscow, the crowd in snowy red square cheered fireworks over the domes of st. basil's. here in new york, the big moment is still a few hours away, but the crowd is gathering in times square and michelle miller is there. michelle, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, harry. it's been a wonderfully mild day here in new york city, high, 44 degrees, and officials say that means larger crowds. it's estimated that more than a million people will be here in times square when the ball drops. >> we're just getting married when the ball drops wherever we are. >> reporter: as revelers stake out their positions in times square, new york police and federal agents are focused on making sure they're safe.
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>> we'll be following tips and leads that may be coming in. >> reporter: assistant f.b.i. director jan vedarchek oversees new york's operation center. she says agents have seen more internet chatter recently. >> we've been monitoring all of the intelligence, but we are reasonably comfort that there is no specific and credible threat out there for this evening. >> reporter: even so, radiation detectors are being deployed, hazmat teams are standing by and thousands of n.y.p.d. officers are on patrol. >> a lot of cops and, you know, there's undercover and they're everywhere. >> reporter: those entering must clear 18 checkpoints before packing into 65 standing-room- only pens that stretch a mile around times square. police say many in the crowd could be screened three times. >> the cops are, like, they frisk us, they check us all out. i'm... i feel better. >> no backpacks. >> reporter: backpacks and alcohol are not allowed. >> when you get this number of people together, obviously we're
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concerned about a possible terrorist event. >> reporter: they want no repeats of the car bomb found in times square last may. >> the trick for u.s. law enforcement and intelligence officials is to pick the needles out of the haystack and to determine who going to actually act out. >> reporter: law enforcement officials are asking the public to have a great time but be aware of your surroundings. they say certainly if you see something suspicious, say something. it could make all the difference, harry. >> smith: michelle miller in times square tonight. thanks. still ahead on the "cbs evening news," 2010 in focus. a year that brought big changes to washington. and we found spies next door. up next, key parts of the health care law take effect at midnight. seniors will save money, but will there be enough doctors to go around? we'll take a look. go around? we'll take a look.
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? another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives. [ female announcer ] certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec, reduce the effect of plavix leaving you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. your doctor may use genetic tests to determine treatment. don't stop taking plavix without talking to your doctor as your risk of heart attack or stroke may increase. people with stomach ulcers or conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines, including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, so tell your doctor when planning surgery.
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tell your doctor all medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, reported sometimes less than 2 weeks after starting plavix. other rare but serious side effects may occur. constipated? phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks. [ professor ] good morning students. today, we're gonna... >> smith: the battle over health care reform will continue to be a huge story in 2011. a lot of americans are worried about what the changes might mean for them. millions are about to find out. as sharyl attkisson reports, some key provisions take effect when the clock strikes 12:00 tonight. >> reporter: millions of seniors are about to get their first
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taste of health care reform, and a lot of them will probably like it. for the first time, the 45 million seniors on medicare can get free annual physicals-- no more co-payments. they'll get free screenings for diabetes and cancer. that includes mammograms and colonoscopies. >> we think it will make the lives and wellness of seniors much better, and in the end it will help drive down costs as diseases are caught sooner before they become more costly to treat. >> reporter: another plus? shrinking the so-called doughnut hole. medicare patients used to have to pay the entire cost of their prescriptions after they spent about $2,800, until expenses reached about $6,400. now they'll get a 50% discount on certain brand-name drugs, 7% on generics. there are also less popular provisions. medicare patients will pay higher premiums for prescription drugs if they make over $85,000- - $170,000 for couples.
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non-prescription drugs like cold and allergy medicines can't be reimbursed through tax-free flexible spending or health savings accounts. and perhaps the biggest worry? >> i think there's a very real concern about having adequate numbers of medicare doctors. >> reporter: that could mean long waits to see the doctor. >> i think they will see delays in the timing of their appointments. i think a number of doctors who have been frustrated because of the medicare fee level will actually stop taking medicare. so that's a real worry for all of us. >> reporter: republicans have promised to do what they can to stop or roll back health care reform, but advocates say most of these first provisions taking effect are quite popular and will be hard for anyone to take away. harry? >> smith: sharyl attkisson in washington tonight. thanks. we'll be back with more news after this. after this. the heat. 'til it turns into heartburn, you've got what it takes: zantac. it's strong, fast lasting relief. so let them turn up the heat.
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>> smith: floods are making things miserable for people in northeastern australia. the floodwaters are spread over an area larger than france and germany combined. days of heavy rain left whole towns underwater, affecting an estimated 200,000 people. helicopters are rescuing isolated families, but animals stranded in the flooded farmland cannot be helped. here at home, five years after katrina more than 200 families in new orleans are still leaving in fema trailers. they're dingy and cramped and we've reported extensively on health problems linked to them. but they're finally going away. new orleans mayor mitch landrieu
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calls them a blight and has ordered the last families to leave them by midnight tonight or face steep fines. in a popularity contest, it helps to have a lot of friends and facebook certainly does. it's now the most visited web site. in fact, about 9% of all internet visits are to facebook. that beats out google, the former number one, which now accounts for about 7%. he's the best-known gunslinger of the wild west, and tonight billy the kid remains unforgiven. he killed at least nine people in his short life, including a new mexico sheriff. new mexico's governor bill richardson considered a request that the pardon... that he pardon billy the kid for the sheriff's murder, but today he said no. next, what a year. oil in the gulf. and an economy struggling to recover. for pain? oh, bayer aspirin? i'm not having a heart attack. it's my back. it works great for pain.
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[ male announcer ] nothing's proven to relieve pain better than extra strength bayer aspirin. it rushes relief to the site of pain. feel better? yeah. thanks for the tip. because they have 20% more calcium per chew than viactiv or for the delicious flavors like chocolate truffle and vanilla creme? mmm. -mmm. -mmm. [ female announcer ] hard to say really. new caltrate soft chews, we put the yum in calcium. i knew for years before i quit that i needed to quit and i went online to find a way. ♪ what really excited me about chantix -- it's a non-nicotine pill. i didn't want nicotine to give up nicotine. while you're taking the medication, for the first week, you can go ahead and smoke. [ male announcer ] prescription chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. when i was taking the chantix, it reduced the urge to smoke. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions
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while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these symptoms or behaviors, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. if you develop serious allergic or skin reactions, stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some of these can be life-threatening. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. dosing may be different if you have kidney problems. until you know how chantix affects you, use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. ♪ it feels wonderful. i don't smoke. i don't smoke. [ male announcer ] it's a new year. so, ask your doctor about chantix. and find out how you could save money on your prescription go to chantix.com to learn more and get terms and conditions. of nfl training camp to put our 24-hour frequent heartburn protection to the test for two weeks. [ diehl ] people think we're indestructible,
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but if you're out there and you're feeling burning it's gonna affect the way that you play. prilosec otc is the one thing i can count on to block my heartburn. when i take it in the morning i'm ready to go for the rest of the day [ male announcer ] prilosec otc. one pill a day, 24 hours, zero heartburn! buy two 42-count boxes of prilosec otc. get $25 back. >> smith: one year ago, few people had ever heard of wikileaks and no one had an ipad. folks on the gulf coast looked forward to a great summer. and who would have believed we'd find inspiration a half mile underground? before we go, we want to put 2010 in focus. >> a major disaster right now in haiti. >> we've come to take our government back!
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>> they could refudiate it. >> prince william and kate middleton announced their engagement today. >> are you ready to restore sanity? >> ♪ shall we start again? >> the world is coming to an end! ♪ i need a sign, let me know you're here ♪ >> news of this devastating earthquake really came in waves. the most horrifying sight to see endless rows of dead bodies. haiti was in a state of shock. ♪ i'm calling on angels... (screaming) >> why? why?
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>> there was one little boy, he was screaming and yelling. >> breathe, breathe, breathe. and this one boy, this was the agony of an entire country. a gold and copper mine collapsed in chile, trapping 33 miners for 17 excruciating days their families waited for word, hoping and praying as crews dug through the rock to get to the miners. suddenly came word. >> ( translated ): the 33 of us are fine in the shelter. >> the first miner has just made it to the surface! ♪ the more they change, the more they stay the same... ♪ >> for the next two years, every american family will keep their tax cuts. >> unemployment. it's getting worse and becoming chronically high.
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>> a frightening freefall in the market. the dow at one point was down 998 points. ♪ i guess it's time to roll up my sleeves... ♪ >> the coast guard called off the search for 11 workers. >> 11 families don't have someone with them because of this explosion. >> b.p. is responsible for this horrific disaster. >> the greatest oil spill in american history covers 29,000 square miles. >> this is so heavy i can barely lift it. >> it looked like chocolate pudding. >> no one wants this thing over more than i do. i'd like my life back. >> he wants to get back to his way of life. i'm sure that brown pelican wants to get back to her way of life. >> i think the expectations were so high i don't think there's any way that anyone could have met them. >> this scares the hell out of me! >> democrats spent a year debating and working on health care when americans were saying "what we care about is jobs." >> hell no you can't!
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(cheers and applause) ♪ don't let me fall... >> how's that hope-y change-y stuff working out for ya? >> the united states senator from massachusetts, scott brown! >> we are tired of them spending our money and not listening to our views. >> is this my new reality? >> i'm not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like i did last night. >> the concerns of combat troops do not present an insurmountable barrier to successful repeal of "don't ask, don't tell". >> i do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like. >> we are being criminalized based on the color of our skin. >> if you don't like the bill then secure the border. >> 3,240. the number of days the war here has gone on. >> i'm pleased to nominate general david petraeus to take command in afghanistan. >> is this july 2011 timeline undermining your effort?
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>> it's not an exodus of u.s. or coalition forces. >> we are moving toward a new phase that will conclude in 2014. >> this facility that is being debated is universally known as the ground zero mosque. what do you call it? a hub of culture. a hub of bringing people together. >> our burning of the koran is to call the attention that something's wrong. >> i am heartened by the condemnation of this disgraceful act. >> this is the corner where an s.u.v. was parked full of explosives. faisal shahzad, the prime suspect, was attempting to flee the country. >> only because he was a poor bomb builder were we saved from a real calamity. >> tens of thousands of classified documents leaked and posted on the web. >> the real story is that it's war. it's one damn thing after another.
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>> ten people here in the united states pled guilty to acting as agents of russia. >> do we have any spies that hot? >> it wasn't my idea to send her back! (laughter) >> look at your man, now back to me. ♪ hide your kids, hide your wife... ♪ >> i'm not a witch. >> i've got a good feeling about this! >> that's right! >> if you touch my junk, i'm going to have you arrested. >> the rent is too damn high. ♪ you can go... >> instead of good-bye, how about so long? ♪ you can start all over again... ♪ >> i'm deeply sorry. ♪ you can try to find a way to make another day go by... ♪ >> i'm going to take my talents to south beach.
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>> for every celebrity out there setting a bad example, there were also heroes to look up to. ♪ you can shine a little light on everything around you, man it's good to be someone ♪ and maybe someday we'll figure all this out ♪ try to put an end to all our doubt ♪ >> and we really don't know the epilogue of some stories that have receded from the headlines. ♪ maybe someday we'll live our lives out loud ♪ we'll be better off somehow, someday... ♪ >> smith: that's the "cbs evening news." thanks for watching. i'm harry smith. katie is back on monday. from all of us here at cbs news, have a great new year.
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captioning sponsored by cbs your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. caption colorado, l.l.c. he said that he was awoken to some large pounding or banging in his backyard. >> then shots were fired. the question now: was a home owner justified in pulling the trigger? it's a late christmas present but it's a big one. the potential 8-figure payoff as san francisco sets sail for the america's cup. >> but first things first. last-minute preparations for new year's here in the bay area and the step police will take for the first time ever. good evening, i'm grace lee. >> i'm robert lyles. the world's biggest yacht race will feature a backdrop of the golden gate bridge, alcatraz and coit tower. late this afternoon, san francisco beat out newport, rhode island, in the bid
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